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- English television presenter
Davina McCall has reflected on “not giving a damn” now she is in her 50s, suggesting she feels like she has “shed the shackles of inhibition” later in life.
The presenter, 54, who famously hosted Big Brother between 2000 and 2010, said her sixth decade has been a “time of liberation” - adding she feels like she’s found allies in other menopausal women of a similar age.
The London presenter, who recently released a documentary - Davina McCall: Sex, Myths And The Menopause - about her journey through the stage in her life said about ageing to Women’s Health: ““It’s a time of liberation.
“It’s a time of shedding the shackles of inhibition and of giving a damn…Because I haven’t always felt like that. It’s not just being on telly and it’s not just being a show-off. It’s that I don’t really care what people think, which is very liberating. I’ve never met a more kind of rowdy bunch of irreverent people than menopausal women. When we’re left to our own devices, we are very bloody funny.”
She said using her voice and profile to create the Channel 4 documentary, which aired earlier this year, had been one of the most powerful things she had achieved in her career.
“With the success of the documentary [‘Davina McCall: Sex, Myths And The Menopause’ on Channel 4] and then the subsequent outpouring from people that they just don’t have enough information, I realised that there’s still so much information to give,” she said.
“I have a platform that I can use to get the message out there. If I was going to ever use it for anything, this is my time to use what I’ve got.”
McCall said she felt as though menopausal women were misunderstood when it came to work - suggesting if such a large group of society was continually sidelined going forward, it would have a major impact on the working economy.
“If you could get back to feeling yourself [through managing menopausal symptons], there is a really high chance that you will stay in your job – because most of us really enjoy our jobs. Sometimes, you feel like you’ve lost your marbles so badly that you are unable to continue [your work]. Now imagine the drain on businesses and the economy if 13 million women leave their jobs because they just felt like they couldn’t continue.”
McCall, a former addict in her younger years, has since been an advocate of a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise.
She said, for her, being fit was not about “getting into the bikini” but helped her in all walks of her life.
“If I feel that I’ve had a slobby couple of weeks and I have put on a bit of weight or I need to tone up, I will lower my calorie intake and exercise maybe a tiny bit harder…” She said. “[But] for me, working out isn’t just for Christmas and New Year. It’s not just to get in the bikini. It’s to stay alive longer, and I really enjoy the way that it helps my head stay clear of negativity. It’s just a win-win in every sense.”
Speaking about her emotional or mental health, McCall added: “I have no drama...no stress. I’m just in a really good, happy, balanced state. Sometimes I feel a bit guilty…but I’ve got nothing to complain about.”
Read the full Davina McCall interview in the December issue of Women’s Health UK, on sale from 30 December 2021, also available as a digital edition.